Roche CFO: We May Use Cash to Reduce Debt, Make M&As; Co. Rumored to Have Made Higher Bid for Illumina, Inc.

Published: Dec 26, 2012

Roche Holding AG (ROG) favors acquisitions of as much as $7 billion over spending cash on share buybacks, Chief Financial Officer Alan Hippe told Bloomberg Industries analysts at a meeting. The company is looking for innovative technologies valued at $6 billion to $7 billion, including gene sequencing, Bloomberg Industries wrote in a note to clients today, citing Hippe. Roche, based in Basel, Switzerland, also is seeking smaller product deals to complement its existing offerings, the CFO told the analysts. The acquisition strategy and potential spending range is similar to those of other pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi and Roche’s cross-town rival Novartis AG, Bloomberg Industries wrote. Roche is the most leveraged large drugmaker, with a net debt-to-assets ratio of 25 percent, according to Bloomberg Industries. The company plans to use cash to pay down debt with a goal of 15 percent leverage, Hippe said.

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